COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.- The family of an 89-year-old woman who froze to death outside a Colorado Springs nursing home is moving ahead with a lawsuit against Union Printers Home.
Between David McDivitt and Brent Moss, they have worked on several nursing home cases involving deaths and injuries of residents. In fact, both currently have ongoing lawsuits against Union Printers Home but both say the circumstances in the death of Margarita Sam is unlike any other.
Sam was found on a bench outside of Union Printers Home on Feb. 3. Residents told KRDO she went outside after an argument with a staffer overnight and then died. An autopsy report released this week confirmed that Sam's death was due to hypothermia.
"That just jumps off of the page as far as egregious behavior," McDivitt says.
Before a lawsuit can be filed, they have to gather documents, learn about staffing procedures and more. But one problem they have already run into is getting ahold of management at the nursing home.
"That's the alarming and disturbing thing," Moss says, "None of the corporate owners have reached out in any way to talk to the families or talk to the community about what happened and the reasons as to why it happened."
Both attorneys believe the central issue of Union Printers Home is going to come down to a common trend they see in all of their cases: a lack of staffing.
Moss says, "If they don't provide enough staff to meet the needs of the residents which is why you see egregious situations like what happened to Ms. Sam."
McDivitt added that it comes down to a matter of greed, "When you have corporations putting profits over people this is the inevitable result."
Both McDivitt and Moss say it may take a few months before the lawsuit is actually filed. Meanwhile, Colorado Springs police are still investigating to see if there was any criminal wrongdoing.
The Union Printers Home has since been shut down by the state due to the death and dozens of other complaints filed by residents.